Valdosta State University is helping pre-school children get excited about learning to read. It's National Library Week and VSU hosted it's 7th annual Read Fest for hundreds of south Georgia children.
Reading can take you to another dimension. Where the characters feel like friends and the world your reading about feels like the one you're living. For 4 and 5-year-old pre-schoolers now is the time to get them excited about learning to read.
"I'm trying to learn to read but I can't. When you read it's really learning good," said 5-year-old Mae Cook.
Today Valdosta State University hosted 255 pre-schoolers from around south Georgia for the school's 7th annual Read Fest to promote literacy.
Studies show the earlier you teach pre-schoolers how to read, the more successful students they'll be in the future.
"The kids who get an earlier start on that and who are better readers early on, have a chance to be that more successful earlier on in life. The more kids we can touch and get excited about reading, I think the stronger impact it will have on the community," said VSU Reference Librarian, Michael Holt.
And VSU students majoring in education got an early start on showing the little one's why they love reading.
"Reading has always been really important to me. I have a brother and a father who are dyslexic, so I've always valued the fact that I could read. So I love inspiring children to read," said Education major, Emily Wiggins.
Wiggins says for some children fictional characters are the only people they have to look up to. "Sometimes these kids don't have anyone to be inspired by and you know these books just give them another world to escape to."
For 5-year-old Mae she's already reaching her goal.
"I know how to spell cat! It's c....a....t."
And today these children were sent home with their own book to practice learning to read.
National library week was started in 1958 by the American Library Association to promote library use. Check out your local library to see how they're celebrating this week.